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The Best Cheap And Affordable Running Shoes in 2022

 

Finding great, cheap, and affordable running shoes can be difficult.

With running shoes, you typically get what you pay for. Less expensive shoes don’t always feel as good or protect your feet as well as pricier options. They are often not durable and wear out quickly as well.

But there are gems out there. It is possible to find cheap running shoes that will keep you comfortable and injury-free when running.

In the first part of this article, we’ll go over the best affordable running shoes. All of these shoes fall close to the $100 price range.

If you want something even cheaper, we recommend buying a discontinued running shoe in your size. Most running shoes get updated about once per year. When the new version arrives, any leftover inventory of the older models goes on sale.

In the second part of this article, we’ll review the best-discontinued shoes. These typically sell for about 25% less than their original cost, but they often are gone quickly, especially in the nicer colors.

We’ll tell you which shoes are the best and when to start looking for them on sale.

But first, the best – and newest – affordable running shoes available today!

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Hoka Rincon 3

 

  • Soft, comfortable cushioning
  • Unusually lightweight
  • Strategically-placed zonal rubber
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Brooks Launch 9

 

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Multi-density mesh upper
  • Flat laces
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Saucony Kinvara 13

 

  • Lightweight
  • Removable insole
  • Wide toe box
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

Best Cheap Running Shoes

Best Overall

1. Hoka Rincon 3

Hoka doesn’t skimp on cushioning in their affordable Rincons. They’re soft, plush, and comfortable, ideal for those who want comfort rather than a snappy toe-off.

What We Like

With 33 mm of EVA cushion in the heel and 28 mm in the forefoot, there’s ample padding in the Rincon for those who want some comfort while running.

Despite the stack height, the shoe isn’t unstable. It has a wider sole profile, making it stable and comfortable on the ground.

It’s also surprisingly lightweight for a well-cushioned shoe, at around 7.7 oz for an average-sized men’s shoe.

An early-stage meta-rocker helps to reduce foot fatigue and smooth the heel-to-toe transition. This can help the shoe feel slightly faster, despite the low 5 mm drop.

They have added more rubber pads to the outsole to increase the shoe’s durability without adding much weight.

The tongue on the Rincon 3 is quite thin, and some may find this uncomfortable or lead to a lace bite on the top of your foot.

We recommend the Hoka Rincon 3 for recovery runs or longer training runs where comfort is more important than speed.

Why We Like It

The Hoka Rincon 3 is an excellent choice for those who want a soft, cushioned shoe that’s still affordable. It has more cushioning in it than most shoes of its price point.

What’s New

The upper has been updated to fit more comfortably, especially in the toe box. The rubber on the outsole has been repositioned to offer improved durability, which is handy for affordable shoes.

This shoe is also the first Rincon to come in different width options so that you can choose the right fit for you.

PROS:

  • Soft, comfortable cushioning from heel to toe
  • Unusually lightweight for the amount of padding
  • Strategically-placed zonal rubber makes the outsole durable
  • It comes in varying widths to suit almost every type of foot

CONS:

  • Some may feel that the thin tongue is uncomfortable
 

Top Value

2. Brooks Launch 9

The Brooks Launch 9 is a classic running shoe. There’s no fancy technology, but it does offer everything you need to head out the door and have a comfortable and enjoyable run.

What We Like

This shoe is more than adequate for runners who want something comfortable and fuss-free. You won’t find unique technology here, but you will find a solid and reliable shoe for casual running.

It features a multi-density Creel Wrap mesh upper that provides structure and breathability. It hugs the foot and provides support, while the more open mesh sections allow air to flow easily through the shoe.

Flat laces help you get a good lockdown on your feet, although the flat tongue may lead to a hotspot on the top of your foot.

BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole offers good cushioning. It’s a good mix between soft and firm, so if you want moderate speed and excellent comfort, it’s a good choice.

Just note that many buyers report disappointment with the quality of the laces. It could be wise to buy an extra set if they break.

Why We Like It

The Brooks Launch 9 is a no-fuss running shoe that offers more than adequate cushioning, light energy return, and a very affordable price point.

What’s New

The Launch 9 has 2 mm more in the stack height, but it has actually lost about half an ounce of weight. It also has a new outsole made of sustainable Green rubber.

PROS:

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole offers both comfortable padding and light rebound
  • Multi-density mesh upper offers both structure and breathability
  • Flat laces allow for a great lockdown on the foot
  • Available in regular, wide, and half sizes

CONS:

  • The laces are not durable, so you will likely have to replace them
 

Best Lightweight

3. Saucony Kinvara 13

This is Saucony’s most lightweight shoe, weighing just 7.2 oz for a men’s size 9 shoe. It’s a great daily trainer that’s very comfortable for wide feet.

What We Like

If you’re looking for one of the lightest and most affordable shoes, the Saucony Kinvara 13 is an excellent choice. They’re Saucony’s lightest shoe, weighing about 7 ounces, depending on your size.

It’s a fairly minimalist shoe, which accounts for both its weight and price. However, it still packs a comfortable, supportive PWRRUN midsole into the shoe. The midsole helps to absorb shock and provides surprisingly great support for those with high arches.

It also has a removable insole, so you can add your own orthotic if you need more specific support.

A well-padded heel collar adds to the shoe’s comfort, while a single-layer mesh upper allows air to flow easily through the shoe, keeping your feet cool and dry.

Saucony’s traditional wide toe box means your forefoot won’t be cramped, and there’s less chance of chafing and blisters.

Those with narrow feet may find it too spacious in the midfoot for comfort. It’s better suited to runners with slightly wider feet.

Why We Like It

The Saucony Kinvara 13 is lightweight and easy on the feet, at around 7 oz in weight, depending on your size. It’s minimalist but comfortable and quite speedy.

What’s New

The upper was redesigned with a stretchier feel, which contours to the foot and provides a more stable, structured feeling. A more beveled and contoured sole makes heel-to-toe transitions easier and more effective. It’s also 0.3 oz lighter.+

PROS:

  • Lightweight, weighing just 7.2 oz for a men’s size 9 shoe
  • The removable insole allows you to add your own orthotic if needed
  • The wide toe box offers roomy comfort on the forefoot
  • PWRRUN cushioning is minimalist but offers support for high arches

CONS:

  • Runners with narrow feet may find this shoe to be too wide
 

Top Stability Shoe

4. Brooks Launch GTS 9

The Brooks Launch GTS 9 is a moderately supportive shoe that helps overpronators to stay safe on their feet. It’s also more budget-friendly than most stability shoes.

What We Like

Brooks fans who overpronate will be pleased to know that you can get the classic Brooks Launch 9 in a stability shoe version, the GTS—Go-To-Support. It uses subtle GuideRails, which prevent twisting or rolling but aren’t intrusive.

The shoe is also unusually lightweight for a stability shoe, at just 8.6 ounces, which keeps it fairly fast. You also get some spring in your step with the BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole.

The Brooks’ wide platform also adds inherent stability to the shoe. It has a stiff sole, which helps prevent torsional rotation and protects the foot from rolling, especially when stepping off rocks or steps.

A Green rubber outsole offers good traction and is more sustainable than the previous Brooks outsoles as it uses sustainable materials. It covers a significant portion of the bottom of the shoe, increasing its durability.

Some runners may find the non-gusseted tongue to be an annoyance. It may move around as you run and possibly cause chafing.

Why We Like It

The Brooks Launch GTS 9 features light, unobtrusive stability features that only activate when you need them. It’s surprisingly light for a stability shoe and comes at a budget-friendly price.

What’s New

The 9th iteration of the Launch features a sleeker, more streamlined upper than the previous version. It also has 2 mm more cushioning, but it loses 4 grams of weight.

New, sustainable Green rubber on the outsole makes it a bit less flexible than before, but it does increase the eco-friendliness of the shoe.

PROS:

  • GuideRails System provides light, unobtrusive support when you need it
  • A wide, stiff sole provides a stable platform and prevents twisting
  • Lightweight, at just 8.6 ounces for an average men’s size
  • A Sustainable Green rubber outsole offers excellent traction

CONS:

  • The non-gusseted tongue may move around while you’re running
 

Best Versatile Trainer

5. New Balance FuelCell Propel v3

This light, comfortable trainer can be used for running, cross-training, fashion wear, or just running errands. It’s also more than capable of taking on easy runs or pushing the speed up a little.

What We Like

FuelCell foam in the midsole of this shoe offers the perfect combination of shock-absorbing cushioning and springy energy return.

On the outsole, a generous layer of NDurance rubber makes the shoe durable and offers enough grip for a quick, energetic toe-off.

This mix of features makes it the ideal shoe for those who want to do both easy, slower, and shorter runs and longer or faster runs.

The shoe has a heel-to-toe drop of 6 mm, which is lower than the average. It helps to take the strain off of the forefoot.

It’s highly breathable and quick-drying, making it an excellent choice for both hot and rainy weather.

Some people may find the thin, stiff tongue to be uncomfortable. On some, it may scratch or chafe their ankle

Why We Like It

The NB FuelCell Propel v3 is versatile and can be used for a number of different runs, from recovery runs to speed work. It’s comfortably soft but still provides a responsive spring in the midsole.

What’s New

Only the upper has been updated since the v2, and it’s now more breathable, lighter, and hugs the foot in a more accommodating way.

PROS:

  • FuelCell foam in the midsole offers the ideal mix of softness and responsiveness
  • Breathable, quick-drying engineered mesh upper keeps your feet cool
  • 6 mm heel drop takes the strain off the forefoot
  • NDurance rubber with flex grooves on the outsole provides grip and flexibility

CONS:

  • The tongue is thin and stiff and may chafe on some ankles
 

Top 5K Race Shoe

6. Saucony Fastwitch 9

A race shoe should be light, sleek, and responsive. The Saucony Fastwitch 9 offers all three of those and a bright, eye-catching design that’s perfect for race day.

What We Like

This streamlined, breathable, and lightweight shoe is designed for race day. Weighing under 6 ounces, you won’t be weighed down with these on your feet.

The upper is also very breathable, so your feet stay cool and dry throughout your 5k race, keeping you comfortable.

While the CMEVA midsole is minimalist, it does a good job of absorbing shock. You should note that the midsole contains a medial post to counter overpronation. Neutral runners should still be able to wear this shoe comfortably, though.

A full PWRTRAC forefoot and strategically-placed rubber in the midfoot and heel provide excellent grip on smooth surfaces and a grippy toe-off, adding to your speed.

Although the outsole is grippy, it’s not as durable as other shoes. We advise saving these shoes for race day rather than training and racing.

Why We Like It

The Fastwitch 9 is sleek and fast. Weighing in at under 6 ounces, it’s built for speed, which makes it perfect for hitting your new 5k PR.

What’s New

The Fastwitch 9 is half an ounce lighter than its previous version. The most noticeable update is the outsole, which has a new triangular design and is layered with PWRTRAC rubber. Finally, the upper has been redesigned for a better fit and increased breathability.

PROS:

  • Highly breathable engineered mesh upper for excellent breathability
  • Lightweight and streamlined, at just 5.9 ounces in weight
  • A firm medial post protects overpronation
  • Strategically-placed PWRTRAC rubber on the outsole for grip and speedy toe-off

CONS:

  • Not as durable as other shoes—best to save for race day
 

Best Wide Toe Box

7. Topo Fli-Lyte 4

Runners who need extra space in the toe box will appreciate the Topo Fli-Lyte 4. It’s affordable, comfortable, and performs well.

What We Like

Topo’s running shoes come with a naturally wide toe box, providing plenty of space for your toes to spread out while running. Those who need space for comfort or have conditions such as bunions or hammertoes will appreciate this.

The engineered mesh upper is made of recycled materials, and they’ve removed any overlays, so it can easily contour to the foot. They’ve added lace stays to the tongue, which keeps the laces in place and helps you to get a tight lockdown while staying comfortable.

In the midsole, a full-length slab of Zipfoam provides light but effective cushioning. The unusual 3 mm heel-to-toe drop lowers the strain on the forefoot and facilitates a natural running style.

The arch support in this shoe is strong and noticeable. Some runners may feel that it’s too much and uncomfortable

Why We Like It

The Topo Fli-Lyte 4 offers more than enough space in the forefoot, thanks to Topo’s unique toe box shape. It’s comfortable for those who need more space in the toe box.

What’s New

A reworked upper is made from recycled mesh and contains no overlays. It includes lace stays on the tongue.

The midsole has been upgraded, and the width of the platform has been expanded to add more stability to the shoe.

PROS:

  • The wide platform and spacious toe box allow toes to spread out
  • Full-length Zipfoam midsole with 3 mm drop reduces forefoot pressure
  • Recycled engineered mesh upper with no overlays for best fit
  • Lace stays on the tongue help you to get a great lockdown

CONS:

  • The strong arch support could be intrusive for some
 

Most Durable

8. Adidas Supernova

If you’re looking for the most durable, cheap, and affordable running shoes, the Adidas Supernova would be a great choice for you.

What We Like

The Supernova is durable from upper to outsole. The upper itself is made of engineered mesh and has sizable synthetic overlays on the sides and heel, which protect from abrasion.

A thick, plush ankle collar and mesh upper feel soft and comfortable, are durable, and won’t flatten or get holes easily.

In the midsole, Boost foam provides light but effective cushioning. It doesn’t flatten easily and offers some bounce to it as you run. Additionally, Bounce foam in the forefoot gives you a nice pop on the toe-off.

The outsole is where this shoe really shines. You’ll find a combination of Stretchweb rubber, which is grippy and flexible, and Continental rubber, which is highly durable, just like the tire!

It may take up to 20 miles to break this shoe in, but it’s worth pushing through. Try running shorter distances for the first few times wearing it, and lengthen your run each time.

Why We Like It

The Supernova isn’t fancy, but it’s exceptionally durable. This one is a great choice if you want a shoe that will stick by you for 400 to 500 miles.

It’s also fairly heavy for a neutral shoe, but that’s to be expected considering the highly durable materials.

PROS:

  • Dual midsole foam offers energy return and doesn’t flatten easily
  • Continental rubber on the outsole offers incredible durability
  • Stretchweb rubber provides grip in all weather
  • Light but effective synthetic overlays

CONS:

  • This shoe may take a few miles to break in
  • It’s somewhat heavy for a neutral shoe
 

Best Cushioning

9. Skechers Unifier

The Skechers Unifier is a max cushioned shoe, so if you want softness and shock absorption underfoot, it’s a super affordable option.

What We Like

A chunky Ultra Go midsole offers plenty of padding, which helps absorb shock when you land and cushions your feet in comfort.

There’s also an Arch Fit insole which adds some cushion and is also designed by a podiatrist, so you can be sure it offers great support.

There’s Natural Rocker Technology built into the shoe, which reduces foot fatigue by encouraging an easy heel-to-toe transition.

On the outsole, Goodyear rubber across most of the underside of the shoe provides superb traction.

Why We Like It

These shoes are max cushioned but remain fairly light for the amount of cushioning you get. They’re also podiatrist-designed; however, they may not suit those with narrow feet.

PROS:

  • Arch Fit insole with podiatrist-approved support
  • Ultra Go cushioning for extreme comfort and shock absorption
  • Goodyear outsole for fantastic traction on any surface
  • Natural Rocker Technology for easy heel-to-toe transition

CONS:

  • It may not suit those with narrow feet
 

Best Discontinued Running Shoes

Best Overall

10. Brooks Ghost 14

The Brooks Ghost 14 has been one of the most popular running shoes of recent years. They may have been discontinued, but you can still buy them for a reasonable price.

What We Like

The Ghost gets the job done really well. An air mesh upper offers excellent ventilation and plush comfort from the heel collar to the spacious, comfortable toe box.

Two different types of foam in the midsole provide all the cushion you need. A full-length piece of DNA Loft foam offers soft and plush comfort. BioMoGo foam on the medial side provides a bit of extra support.

This combination creates the perfect balance of soft, luxurious comfort and firm stability in all the right places.

An updated outsole pattern provides the best grip on any surface. It uses hard rubber in the heel for shock absorption and softer blown rubber in the forefoot for grip and explosive toe-offs.

Why We Like It

The Brooks Ghost 14 is an excellent reliable shoe that’s plush and comfortable for relaxed runs. However, the outsole is a little less durable than others.

What’s New

There are no huge changes between the Ghost 13 and 14. The upper was updated to be plusher, more breathable, and to offer a better fit and a more spacious toe box.

The 14 also feels softer underfoot and has lost a tiny bit of weight from the 12. It also has an updated outsole pattern.

PROS:

  • Plush, luxurious upper and ankle collar for extreme comfort
  • A spacious, comfortable toe box allows for your toes to be free
  • A highly breathable mesh upper keeps your feet cool and dry
  • 20 mm of cushioning on the forefoot and 32 mm on the heel

CONS:

  • Lack of durability in the outsole
 

Most Breathable

11. Saucony Ride 14

The Ride 14 is a comfortable daily trainer that’s highly breathable. It’s an excellent choice for those who live in warmer climates and need a shoe that will keep your feet cool and dry.

What We Like

The upper of this shoe has been redesigned specifically to improve breathability. It’s easy to see the large perforations across the upper, which draw air in to cool and dry your feet as you run.

The ankle collar has been lowered, which means more of your skin is exposed to the air, keeping you even cooler.

Although the upper is highly breathable, it’s still plush enough to offer soft comfort from the moment you step into the shoe.

PWRRUN cushioning underfoot delivers a great combination of softness and firmness. It’s comfortable without being squishy but also offers some light energy return.

The zig-zag-shaped rubber on the outsole grips the ground effectively, keeping you safe and stable. It also features flex grooves for added natural flexibility.

The newly lowered heel collar may lead to some heel slippage. Getting a good lockdown on this shoe can also be difficult as the laces are slippery and come untied easily.

Why We Like It

The Saucony Ride 14 has a redesigned upper that allows for increased airflow, keeping your feet cool and dry in hot weather. It’s probably too breathable for winter!

What’s New

The changes to this shoe are minimal. The upper has been changed to improve ventilation, and the ankle collar has been lowered slightly.

PROS:

  • Vented upper that allows for consistent airflow through the shoe
  • Plush and comfortable from the moment you step into it
  • PWRRUN midsole is a perfect blend of soft and firm
  • Zig-zag outsole with flex grooves offers exceptional grip

CONS:

  • The lowered heel collar may lead to heel slippage
 

Best Cushioning

12. HOKA Clifton 7

Hoka shoes are known for their thick layers of cushioning. This is it if you’re looking for a shoe with max cushioning that’s still lightweight.

What We Like

The Hoka Clifton 7 is an everyday trainer with a max cushion design. It’s plush from the upper to the midsole but without being too soft.

The upper is breathable and features a gusseted tongue, which the previous version was missing. It also has an elf ear tab instead of a heel loop. While some may miss the pull tab, the elf ear reduces chafing.

In the midsole, EVA cushioning offers good support for high arches. It’s a happy medium between soft comfort and firm support, but there’s not quite enough responsiveness for it to be a great race shoe.

Hokas have a naturally wide fit, but this shoe comes in regular, narrow, and wide sizes so that runners of all foot sizes and shapes can find the appropriate one.

The cushioning is comfortable but not the most responsive, so this shoe may not be suitable for faster-paced runs.

Why We Like It

The Clifton 7 offers a super comfortable and shock-absorbing cushion while remaining lightweight, at 8.7 oz. It’s plush and comfortable everywhere.

What’s New

The biggest differences between the Clifton 6 and the Clifton 7 are that the new version is more breathable and has a gusseted tongue. It’s also lost the handy heel loop.

PROS:

  • Cushioning offers the best of both plushness and support
  • Strong arch support that’s suitable for high arches
  • Elf ear ankle collar design helps to reduce chafing
  • Available in narrow, regular, and wide widths to suit every foot

CONS:

  • Not the most responsive shoe
 

Top Heel Support

13. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27

Heel support is crucial for those who overpronate, underpronate, or feel they need more stability. The ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 keeps your heel still and stable.

What We Like

The Gel-Kayano 27 is the ideal mix of comfort and support. Those who need a bit of support in the rearfoot will find the shoe perfect for their needs.

A firm heel counter keeps the heel in place during motion. This is aided by the Dynamic Duomax medial post technology and the stiff, resin Trusstic system that prevents the shoe from twisting.

As well as these stability features, which keep your foot as secure as possible, the Gel-Kayano features exceptional shock absorption.

Gel technology in the heel and the forefoot, along with Flytefoam in the midsole, provide all the cushioning you need to stay safe and comfortable.

There are subtle differences in the men’s and women’s shoes for the highest level of comfort. These include 3 mm more cushioning in the women’s shoe and stronger arch support in the men’s.

While the Gel-Kayano offers exceptional heel support, it’s a stability shoe. Neutral runners may find it uncomfortable to run in.

Why We Like It

The Gel-Kayano 27 offers exceptional stability from the heel throughout the whole shoe. Your foot will be stable and secure in this shoe.

What’s New

The updates have been minor, with subtle changes being made to the premium feel of the shoe, tweaks to perfect the stability and the flexibility has been improved.

PROS:

  • Firm, stable heel counter helps keep the foot in position
  • Dynamic Duomax and Space Trusstic technology stop the foot from rolling
  • GEL technology in the heel and forefoot
  • Gender-specific features for the best fit and feel

CONS:

  • This shoe is a stability shoe, so it may not be comfortable for neutral runners
 

Most Comfortable

14. Brooks Glycerin 19

The Brooks Glycerin is a plush and comfortable shoe from top to bottom. If you’re looking for a luxurious-feeling shoe that adapts to your foot, you’ll be happy with this one.

What We Like

The Glycerin’s upper and ankle collars are plush and feel luxurious from the moment you slide your foot into them. It’s extremely comfortable, and you can easily wear them for hours.

Underfoot, the BioMoGo DNA midsole is adaptive, molding your arch and adapting to your stride to provide the ideal support for slower jogs and more intense runs.

There’s also an Ortholite sock liner, which adds to the shoe’s comfort. It can be removed if you’d like to add your own custom orthotic.

The outsole is almost entirely covered in rubber, which provides safety and security and multiple different surfaces.

Why We Like It

Comfort is the priority on the Glycerin 19. As well as hugging your foot, the adaptive cushioning provides comfort and support.

You should note that the midsole of this shoe stiffens up in the cold and can make for an uncomfortable run. It may be best for use in consistently warmer climates.

What’s New

The rubber outsole on the 19 is made of one single rubber compound instead of the two in the previous model.

PROS:

  • Luxurious upper and ankle collar for unparalleled comfort
  • BioMoGo DNA cushioning adapts to your foot strike for custom support
  • Near-full coverage rubber on the outsole grips to any surface
  • Ortholite sockliner that can be removed to add a custom orthotic

CONS:

  • The midsole stiffens up in the cold
 

Best Stability

15. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Those who need a shoe with excellent stability should consider the Adrenaline GTS 21. It’s a max cushion shoe that provides excellent protection without compromising stability.

What We Like

This shoe offers the classic Brooks design with extra stability for those who overpronate. There’s nothing fancy about the shoe, and even the GuideRails system is simple and hardly noticeable.

Small but strong strips of plastic are visible just above the heel and midfoot of the shoe. These are the GuideRails, and their job is to prevent lateral movement of the foot and prevent rolling of the foot.

They also hold the heel firmly, which works with the foot-hugging 3D Fit Print midfoot saddle and traditional laces to get a great lockdown.

Two different types of foam in the midsole provide effective cushioning against impact. A thin insole can be removed to make space for a custom orthotic.

HPR Plus rubber on the outsole gives you stable footing on a number of different surfaces. It features soft blown rubber in the forefoot for tacky grip and an excellent toe-off.

Why We Like It

This shoe offers excellent stability with an unusually light and unobtrusive system. The GuieRails offer support when you need it, and you don’t even feel them when you don’t.

The Adrenaline GTS weighs over 10 ounces, which is on the heavier side. Although it’s a stability shoe, known to be heavier than normal shoes, other stability shoes are lighter.

What’s New

The DNA Loft cushioning extends throughout the full length of the shoe. The upper has been revamped with 3D Fit Print for a better fit and feel, plus more breathability. It’s also lost a millimeter of cushion and a bit of weight.

PROS:

  • GuideRails Support System only kicks in when support is needed
  • Two types of foam in the midsole offer comfortable cushioning
  • HPR Plus rubber on the outsole for shock absorption and grip
  • 3D Fit Print technology on the upper provides a sleek fit

CONS:

  • At a little over 10 ounces, this shoe is on the heavier side
 

Top Light Support

16. Saucony Guide 14

Mild overpronators who don’t need a full-on stability shoe will appreciate the Guide 14. It’s comfortable and no-fuss, excellent for easy and recovery runs.

What We Like

The Saucony Guide 14 offers mild support thanks to a TPU medial post in the midsole. This is a section of foam on the inside of the foot that’s denser than the rest, which means it doesn’t compress as readily, providing firm support.

Although it offers strong support, it’s not obtrusive and can even be worn by those with neutral feet.

A redesigned upper with ISOFit technology fits like a glove. It uses 3 layers to contour the foot and stretch as it moves. A wide, comfortable toe box allows your forefoot all the space it needs to spread comfortably.

In the midsole, PWRRUN+ cushioning adds more spring to the shoe than the previous version, but it’s still by no means a fast shoe. It does absorb shock well and protects the foot from jarring.

The outsole features TriFlex rubber with flex grooves, allowing the foot to stay safe and secure on a number of different surfaces without restricting the flexibility.

Why We Like It

The Saucony Guide 14 is a comfortable, supportive shoe for overpronators that doesn’t break the bank. It’s great for easy training runs or recovery runs.

You should note that the shoe may be disappointingly responsive for some. It’s best for recovery runs and easy, relaxed training sessions rather than speed work or competitive races. There also may be some heel slippage in this shoe.

What’s New

The changes from the Guide 13 are subtle. The upper has been redesigned to be more sleek and fitted, and the midsole foam has been reformulated since the last version.

PROS:

  • Medial post provides excellent protection against overpronation
  • Three-layer upper with ISOFit technology hugs the foot
  • PWRRUN+ cushioning provides excellent support
  • TriFlex rubber outsole offers flexibility and traction

CONS:

  • This shoe is not very responsive
  • There may be some heel slippage
 

Best for Underpronation

17. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 23

It can be difficult to find appropriate shoes for underpronation. However, we highly recommend the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 as it offers great support to keep the foot from rolling outward.

What We Like

The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 is an excellent choice for underpronators, thanks to the built-in Trusstic system. This resin layer reinforces the stiffness of the shoe, and adds torsional stability by preventing twisting towards the lateral side.

A medium-stiff Heel Clutch helps lock the heel in place, working with the Trusstic system to keep your feet stable and safe.

Flytefoam in the midsole helps absorb shock and increase the shoe’s comfort. However, the shining star of the shoe is the Gel in the heel, which is excellent at absorbing the shock of impact and protecting the feet, especially for heel strikers.

The shoe also has some spring to it, thanks to a layer of Propel cushioning, which increases the responsiveness of the midsole.

Another feature of the cushioning is 3D Space Construction, foam pillars under the forefoot, developed to be gender-specific and provide the right kind of support for men’s and women’s feet.

Why We Like It

Underpronators will appreciate the reinforcing Trusstic system in this shoe, which prevents outward roll. It also offers great protection against impact, thanks to the gel cushioning in the heel.

The upper is less breathable than some others. If you run in hot weather often, you may find that it runs warm.

What’s New

The 23 features a softer, more comfortable upper with more gel in the heel for shock absorption. It’s also more stable than the 22.

PROS:

  • The Midfoot Trusstic device keeps the foot from rolling outward or twisting
  • Heel Clutching System for rearfoot stability and protection
  • Shock-absorbing gel in the rearfoot for protection against impact
  • Plush upper increases the comfort of the shoe

CONS:

  • The shoe isn’t that breathable and could run warm in hot weather
 

Buyer’s Guide – Cheap Running Shoes

Cushioning

Even if you’re buying cheap and affordable running shoes, you need to ensure they protect and support your feet.

Cushioning is an important element as it absorbs the impact of every step. If you’re planning on running longer distances, more cushioning is a good idea to protect your feet over a long period of high-impact forces.

Cheap running shoes often have less cushioning, so they weigh less, and you can feel the ground beneath your feet. However, they offer less protection from the vibration of impact.

Support

Choosing the right type of arch support for your feet is crucial. Overpronators need to make sure they buy a stability shoe. At the same time, those with a neutral foot should ensure that they use a neutral shoe to prevent the discomfort of having unnecessary support elements underfoot.

Stiff Outer Sole

A stiff outer sole adds to the supportiveness of the shoe. It provides a solid platform that resists torsional forces, so there’s less chance of your foot twisting and causing an injury.

However, the sole should still have enough flex that you can walk or run without feeling like the natural movement of your foot is restricted.

Weight

Minimalist shoes are lightweight but often at the expense of cushioning and support. Shoes with cushioning and built-in support features may be slightly heavier, but they may only be noticeable during long runs.

Breathability

Most running shoes have some level of breathability. This allows for excellent ventilation through the shoe, which helps wick away sweat and prevents odor-causing bacteria from growing inside the shoe.

Most running shoes have a mesh upper that is usually quite breathable. You should note that highly breathable shoes can be cold in winter, as cool air can flow through the shoe as you run.

Heel-To-Toe Drop

The heel-to-toe drop is the difference between the height of the heel and the height of the forefoot in the shoe. Zero-drop shoes—the same height heel and forefoot—are less common.

The most common heel-to-toe drops in running shoes are between 10 and 12 mm. This means there’s slightly more pressure on the forefoot when you run as your weight is distributed more toward the front of the shoe.

You may also find lower heel-to-toe drops. Hoka shoes all have a 4 or 5 mm drop, which you may not feel immediately but does become noticeable on long runs. This puts less pressure on the forefoot, but it initially puts more stress on the Achilles tendon.

Outsole

The outsole should be made of tacky material that provides excellent traction on various surfaces.

It should also be durable and not add too much weight to the shoe or make the sole too stiff. The outsole should be flexible enough to allow your foot to move naturally when walking or running.

Toe Box

There should be enough room in the toe box for your toes to spread out naturally. You should have at least 1 to 1.5 cm—0.4 to 0.6 inches—between your toes and the front of the shoe.

If the toe box is too small for your feet, it can lead to runner’s toe, blisters, and pain. Those who wear shoes with small, tight-toe boxes for long periods are at higher risk of developing metatarsalgia, hammer toes, and bunions.

A small toe box can also lead to you changing your gait to accommodate painful feet, which may lead to poor form and make you injured.

Heel Counter

A stable, firm heel counter is a great support feature. This ridge of harder material runs around the rearfoot, supporting the heel and holding it in place, so the foot doesn’t move sideways inside the shoe.

Some shoes have internal heel counters, and others have external heel counters. Both are helpful, and a deep heel cup should accompany them to stabilize the heel.

FAQs

Should I Buy Cheap Running Shoes?

While wearing high-quality shoes is important for the safety of your feet, you can still find excellent cheap, affordable running shoes.

These shoes may not be of the quality necessary to run marathons or compete in high-profile events. But they are generally adequate for training and running shorter races.

Cheaper shoes often have less cushioning and support than expensive shoes. They’re also not usually as plush, but as long as they offer support and shock absorption, they may be perfect enough for you.

Do Expensive Shoes Make a Difference?

In some cases, more expensive shoes contain patented technology that offers plush cushioning, impressive shock absorption, and an increased energy return.

However, unless you specifically need a high level of comfort or specific support, you can get slightly dampened versions of the same in more moderately-priced shoes.

There’s no need to spend a lot of money on expensive running shoes if you’re a casual runner who isn’t planning on running competitively.

Why Have Running Shoes Become So Expensive?

Running shoes have increased in price due to added technology and specially-designed materials.

Each brand has its own patented technologies for everything from shock absorption to responsiveness, raising the price of running shoes.

Cheap and affordable running shoes often have less technology and are usually made of slightly less durable materials.

What Are the Disadvantages of Buying Less Expensive Shoes?

Less Support

Cheap shoes may not offer enough support for people who overpronate. There also may be fewer options for arch support, so those with flat feet or high arches may find that they don’t get enough support underfoot.

Lower Quality of Soles

The material on the outsoles is often less durable. This means that you will most likely get fewer miles out of your shoes than those with more expensive shoes. You may also be more susceptible to injuries as the outsole wears down.

Less Cushion/Less Comfort

Cheaper shoes often have less cushioning. This means there’s more ground feel but less shock absorption. Some runners may prefer the minimalist design of cheaper running shoes, but if you need max cushioning, you may need to spend a bit more.

Less Durable

The lower quality of materials often means that the shoes—from upper to outsole—are less durable. You may find that the upper develops holes more quickly, or the outsole wears down.

This not only means that you need to replace your shoes more often, but it may leave you open to injury as your feet aren’t protected.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

The Wired Runner
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